A Foreign World
November, 1862. A last battle is held in Lexington, Kentucky, cornering the Union army against the Appalachian Mountains. A surrender is filed and the Civil War ends. Now it is the middle of the month, and reconstruction has begun...
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writingbythepower
Jackson hadn't looked at Riley when he said his comment, simply rode off with the rest of them. When they returned, he put Little Sorrel up and walked around for a moment, moving his body. His body was usually cramped from being on the horse, tensed because of the small space. When he was relaxed, he looked over and saw Wesley sitting by the fire. Walking and sitting next to the man, he sighed. "How are you feeling, Wesley?"
3/4/2010 #361
SnowClaw of Windclan
"Hungry, sore, and pretty uncomfortable. How was your day?" Wesley smiled ruefully, the shrill, barking laughter that he had become known for almost gone from his eyes as he spoke. It required energy that he simply didn't have, and didn't know if he would ever get back.

Riley began to eat the piece of beef that he was given, looking up and watching his friend every now and then. Wesley had needed to get on his feet, and so he had brought him. Although he hadn't objected, Riley wondered if he had wanted to.

3/4/2010 #362
writingbythepower
Jackson smiled himself. "Not quite like that. It's good to see you out, on your feet. I'm sure it feels good as well." He made the statement to see what Wesley would say, how the man actually felt about his first real mission. Everything was different now, everything had changed possibly forever.
3/4/2010 #363
SnowClaw of Windclan
"It hurts, General." Wesley was quiet, gingerly taking the cup of warmed milk that was handed to him from another ranger. The fluid was easier on his systems than solids were, kept him going long enough to go through the day. "It just..."
3/4/2010 #364
writingbythepower
"I know, Wesley, I know. It'll be alright. I told you that before, and now I'm telling you again. But look at you now, from what you were just a few days ago. I know it hurts, and it might always hurt, but you'll make it. You're strong, very strong." Jackson nodded, sat there silently after that. He had spoken his mind, and he had nothing more to add to it.
3/4/2010 #365
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley allowed himself to become absorbed with his own thoughts for a moment before turning to look at Riley. "The horse is doing good--he got a name yet?" He bent forward stiffly and let his elbows rest on his knees, warming himself by the fire. Riley shrugged. "Nothing great, yet. Been calling him the White Face, although with the way he acts even that's too dignified for him."
3/4/2010 #366
writingbythepower
Jackson didn't make any comment, knew that if he did Riley would no doubt come up with some other, and rather irritating, comment. He stared at the fire, the motion of the flames being followed by his blues eyes.
3/4/2010 #367
SnowClaw of Windclan
The lunch came to pass and one by one the rangers got up until only Riley, Wesley, and General Jackson remained. After a moment, Riley stood, deciding to pay Marilyn a visit. She had come by earlier and retrieved her quilt, but the two hadn't gotten to talk. "I'll be paying Marilyn a visit," he said, wiping off his hands.
3/5/2010 #368
writingbythepower
Jackson nodded, looked over to Riley. He once again decided to not talk, knew that any comment he made would be changed around to fit Riley's single purpose of condemning him in any way. Staring into the fire, Thomas once again began to question why Riley seemed to dislike, even hate, him so much.
3/6/2010 #369
SnowClaw of Windclan
Riley mounted his mare, as the White Face wouldn't tolerate being ridden more than once with rare exceptions, and started down the vaguely beaten path along the reddish sand towards Marilyn's house. He enjoyed the visits, and she did too, although he looked upon her as a friend and only that, had never noticed her affections, the brightness in her eyes when he was around...

Wesley made a quiet sound through his nose, untying his ponytail and running a hand through his hair. "You look like you're thinking about something," he stated, watching Jackson as he tied back the long strands.

3/6/2010 #370
writingbythepower
"I am. Thinking of a few things, actually." Mostly what he was thinking about was Riley and his opinions, but he was also thinking about his wife. It would be a few more weeks before she would show up, and he was waiting to see her and his new child, if it had been born yet. He imagined the child had been born, but he didn't know for sure. Silently, in his own thoughts, he gave a small prayer for his wife and his child.
3/6/2010 #371
SnowClaw of Windclan
"And those are?" Wesley reached forward and took a few sips from a bottle of whiskey near the log he was sitting on. Jackson was very quiet, and sometimes he wondered what exactly was going on in the man's head, how he worked. Wesley felt that he was a rather strange presence at times.
3/6/2010 #372
writingbythepower
Jackson looked at the man for a moment, thought what to say. "Of my wife, my child. They have a long journey ahead of them, for them to get here." Nodding, he decided that would be all he would say on his thoughts. If he said anything on his thoughts on Riley... Wesley could began to think and say the same things Riley does.
3/6/2010 #373
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley shrugged. "It's by train, or horse and buggy. It's nothing to worry about..." He bent down to swat a mosquito away from his leg--the worst part was, it was November and they still kept coming. He had more stings and bites and scratches from the range...And soon, a scar--if the wound ever did fully heal.
3/6/2010 #374
writingbythepower
"I imagine everyone worries about their loved ones, even during the most simple of trips." Jackson looked over at Riley, saw him swat at the bug and began to kill bugs of himself. He had dealt with such things in Mexico, had forgotten how irriating they were.
3/6/2010 #375
SnowClaw of Windclan
"They should be gone now, it's November." Grimacing, Wesley added, "This is nothing compared to the summer. Scorpions, coyotes, ticks, mosquitoes, horseflies..." He sighed shortly through his nose, "And the longer days give the Indians a longer time to attack us.
3/6/2010 #376
writingbythepower
He nodded. "Yes, it seems to be that Texas is trying to kill us as much as any enemy on a battlefield." He looked up, saw another bug and slapped at it. Texas was full of dangerous things, a true land of adventure. A land he hadn't seen in many years, and now he began to wonder why he had asked to come to this place.
3/6/2010 #377
SnowClaw of Windclan
"Maybe it doesn't want us here. The Indians sure don't." Wesley shrugged again, watching the other rangers as they went about different tasks at the camp. He wondered how Riley's visit was going, and smiled to himself ever so slightly. Marilyn was a good woman, and he was grateful to her.
3/6/2010 #378
writingbythepower
"Yes, well, the Indians will have to deal with the expansion. Their are worse things out there then Indians, or the things here in Texas." He now thought of the battefields, of the things he had seen there. Texas, in general, could be worse. A battlefield, or some of the places he had seen in Mexico or even Virginia, could be a much worse place.
3/6/2010 #379
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley made a small sound through his nose. It wasn't agreement or disagreement, although he did view the statement as rather egocentrical of the man. Merely, it was only an aknowledgement of what Jackson had said. "I suppose the Indians will," he stated with a nod, "If they'd just move West they would save themselves and us the trouble."
3/6/2010 #380
writingbythepower
Jackson shooked his head. "No, they cannot save themselves. That's why I fear them. A soldier of my back in Virginia by the name of Stuart told me about his fight here in Texas against the Indians, how they fought for their homes. If they were to move West, we would move West. They're are always people who want more land." He looked in the direction of the Indian camp, suddenly felt sorry for them and their cause. How close we could have been, he thought, to be pushed away and cornered as them.
3/6/2010 #381
SnowClaw of Windclan
"Hm." Wesley nodded slightly. "I pity them, sometimes." They have wives and husbands and parents and families and children... Wesley had the thought before. Right now, he was going back over what he had already felt and known at the mention.
3/6/2010 #382
writingbythepower
Jackson nodded, gave no verbal response. It was true, they deserved to be pitied. No one could help them, mostly because no one was willing to help them. If he had the power, Jackson may very well have tried. But there was nothing he could do, nothing that he could do but help and protect those near him. That was his job, to defend people to the best of his ability.
3/6/2010 #383
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley started to get up but grimaced when his side contracted in a small spasm of protest. He stood still as not to aggravate the wound and gently pressed the side of his hand into the area near it until the pain let go, then straightened up and started towards the area where the horses were tied.
3/6/2010 #384
writingbythepower
Jackson stood, walked over to Wesley. "Maybe you should rest for a little while longer, Wesley. Don't want you to use up all of your strength." Smiling, he nodded and gestured back over to the log.
3/6/2010 #385
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley sighed shortly but nodded, understanding the need. He sat back down, idly picking up a stick and putting the end in the fire until it lit. He'd played with burning sticks since he was younger, and found a certain enjoyment in it, although he used longer ones so he wouldn't burn himself.
3/6/2010 #386
writingbythepower
Smiling slightly, Jackson nodded as he too sat down on the log. Looking over to Wesley, he decided to ask a few questions. "So," he began, "Tell me about Riley. You've known he for a while, you said? What's he like, really?"
3/6/2010 #387
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley shrugged, realizing that for the most part Jackson hadn't seen Riley when he wasn't in a sour mood. He thought for a moment before saying, "He's honest, hardworking, and resourceful. Riley's never been afraid of work--he'll take what's offered to him, and won't complain. He's an okay leader, I suppose--we've always listened to what he says by nature--but he does tend to be skeptical. I suppose you've seen a few of those qualities."
3/6/2010 #388
writingbythepower
"Yes, I imagine that's about all I've seen. He doesn't seem to fond of me, I suppose that's the reason I ask." He was being open, trying to get a little communication between both himself and Wesley and to help him understand Riley as much as he could. That task, understanding Riley, was something he had been trying to get done for some time now, and he began to wonder if it could ever happen.
3/6/2010 #389
SnowClaw of Windclan
Wesley sighed, nodding. If Jackson knew the whole story... Still, he didn't want to disgrace Marilyn---he would never do that... "It's not you. It's your uniform, your orginization--but at the same it is you, your views--"He was quiet for a moment, and then added, "It's complicated, general."
3/6/2010 #390
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